Courtesy of GoBonnies.com
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Junior David Vaccaro homered twice and drove in seven runs to power a St. Bonaventure baseball explosion that saw the Bonnies cap a series victory over George Mason with a 16-3 triumph Sunday afternoon at McGraw-Jennings Field.
St. Bonaventure improves to 23-19-1 overall on the year and 8-10 in Atlantic 10 play. Bona has now won four of its last five A-10 series with six of its 10 conference losses coming by one run.
Seven Bonnies collected hits on the day – including three each by Taishi Terashima and Thad Johnson – but it was Vaccaro who stole the headlines.
After Bona took a 1-0 lead after one, Mason tied the score with a run of its own in the second.
Tyler Kirwan broke the tie in the second with a run-scoring ground out before Vaccaro smacked his first homer of the day to left off Mason starter Brian Marconi (1-4).
The Bonnies, who scored in each of the first seven innings, plated two more in the third on RBI singles from Jared Baldinelli and Tommy LaCongo. Mason made things interesting with two runs in the fourth for a 5-3 score, but the Bonnies responded on an Aaron Phillips RBI single in the home half of the inning,
Bona broke the game open in the fifth, sending 13 men to the plate and scoring nine times. Vaccaro had an inning to remember, driving in six runs during the fifth – he drove a no-doubt three-run homer to left in his first at-bat, then later cleared the bases with a double to right.
The hosts smacked 14 hits on the afternoon and their 16 runs represent their highest run total since a 24-6 victory at Ohio on March 15, 2014. For Vaccaro, it was his best day in Brown and White including his first multi-home run afternoon.
While the offense was making noise, it was another quality day for the Bonnies pitching staff that entered Sunday ranking eighth in the nation with a 2.76 ERA. Starter Reid Van Woert was lifted after 3.2 innings, allowing three runs with three strikeouts, for reliever Drew Teller (5-1) who picked up the win with two scoreless frames out of the ‘pen. Nate Grant (2.1 innings, one hit, no walks, four strikeouts) and T.J. Baker (two hits, no runs) combined to close it out.
Baldinelli completed a strong series by going 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and two RBIs.
Still very much in the thick of the A-10 playoff race, the Bonnies will host Saint Louis for a three-game series beginning Thursday.